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Publisher's Summary

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of this magical and well-loved classic. Following a plane crash, Conway, a British consul; his deputy; a missionary; and an American financier find themselves in the enigmatic snow-capped mountains of uncharted Tibet. Here they discover a seemingly perfect hidden community where they are welcomed with gracious hospitality. Intrigued by its mystery, the travelers set about discovering the secret hidden at the shimmering heart of Shangri-La.

©2010 James Hilton (P)2010 Audible Ltd

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What listeners say about Lost Horizon

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love this story, performance not so much

How did the narrator detract from the book?

This seems to have been recorded when audiobooks were geared toward "reading for the blind"...before audiobooks became more mainstream. I think as audiobooks became more mainstream, standards became higher and narrators are now asked to act/perform, and producers and/or directors are involved to audit quality. This narrator has a fantastic and fitting voice but doesn't seem to act out the story. There are awkward pauses, the characters don't really come to life, and there is background noise. This is one of my all time favorite stories so I still enjoyed it. If I were not already in love with it, however, I don't believe this audiobook would have captured my attention enough and I'd have dismissed it. I would love to hear a re-record of Lost Horizon.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

In a heartbeat.

Any additional comments?

Please re-record this book.

26 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This timeless classic does not work on Audio Book!

Any additional comments?

I fell in love with this book when I was a kid and have read it several times in my life. In many ways it shaped my own concepts of spiritual beliefs, of living in a calm settled tranquility. I always took away a more profound belief in the existence of Shangri-La, and in many ways the book always seem to transfix me with a mystical power. This audio book did not do this. The reader was very literal in the way he approached and read this timeless classic. The characters become somewhat cynical, lifeless and cold. All the elements of mystery where gone or missing. There was no sense of beauty of this extraordinary place and time. Yes time was suspended, but it was in the long drawn out reading of the reader. Finally half way through the recording I had to increase the play speed to 1.25 to get finish it.

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Shangri-La

Exquisite little story. Can't say as much for the narrator. He was rather irritating most of the time, but it wasn't ba enough to keep me from finishing the book.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Meh

Made out to be such a great read, but it failed to deliver. It seemed like the plot was good foreplay, but the direction it quickly took never came through. It left this reader very unsatisfied. The reading performance didn't compensate.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazingly wonderful, a new favorite!

I knew about this book but had never read it, and I haven't seen the movie. I knew it involved a mystical place called Shangri-La, but that was it. I listened to the audible version, and enjoyed it very much. It's set post-WWI, an era I am drawn to, mostly because my grandfather served with the army in France. I wish I knew more about his experience, but he would never talk about it, even to my father.

Lost Horizon features an interesting narrative structure in that the story is mostly told third hand by a neurologist who hears the story from a novelist (Rutherford) who got the story from the main character, Hugh "Glory" Conway. Rutherford discovers Conway (whose remarkable personal, academic, and athletic qualities create an indelible impression on everyone he meets) in a mission hospital in China. Conway originally is suffering from amnesia, but when he regains his memories, he tells his story to Rutherford, who writes it down and gives it to the narrator. Then Conway disappears. The novel's epilogue leaves an interesting question in the mind of the reader, and I have my own preferred "answer."

When Conway and three companions are being evacuated from India during a revolution, their plane is hijacked and crashes in the mountains to the west of Tibet. The pilot dies, but the party is rescued and escorted to a lamasery, Shangri-La. I don't want to give away more of the plot, because it is so wonderful to discover it for the first time. I think I might have wanted to stay in Shangri-La, were I given the chance. I just love the philosophy of the monks: moderation. Nothing is particularly right or wrong, so there's little need for a crime-punishment mentality, which really bothers two of the kidnapped hostages. In my opinion, the treatment of time at the lamasery is the most fascinating aspect of Hilton's imagination -- especially in contrast with the experiences of people who survived WWI, escaped from a violent revolution, and lived through a plane crash -- and is the most remarkable feature of this novel.

The reader of the audible book is fine, but it's not really a "performance" narration. It suited me, even though I did not like the voice given to Miss Brinklow -- one of the kidnapped evacuees. Other voices were subtly distinct and not distracting.

I'm currently reading Hilton's book, Random Harvest, and am enjoying the similarities in the themes and characterizations. I especially like the material regarding the impact of WWI on the individuals who fought in the trenches and the way society dealt with the returning veterans.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

I think it was a good book, but the performance...

How did the narrator detract from the book?

If you like pauses between each sentence, get this book. Aack! Drove me crazy.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

How did I miss that?

I first read this book when I was in the ninth grade and have merely contented myself and my memories with viewings of the movie since that time. But I was tempted, and I bought this recording.
How could I possibly have forgotten how marvelous this book was, how much better than the altered movie.
How much more meaning I receive now that I am MUCH older and have a bit more understanding of life. The book is not merely an adventure, it is a philosophy. The philosophy of moderation is a wonderful thought and a guide to living.
About the only thing wrong with this production is that the reader is not Ronald Coleman.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Bland reader combined with bland story

The reader for this short bland story was so boring that it was a chore to finish this book. It was hard to hear changes in the narrative voice and the main character's voice. No attempt to quicken the narrative during time of high drama or slow it down during inflective periods. It was all Ben Stiller monotone for most of the narrative. Some of the other characters in the book were given different voices, but the High class English accent destroyed the few Asian voices this reader had tried. I won't recommend this if you listen on drives to/from work since that monotone could put some to sleep.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good story, but slow.

The narrator reads this book much too slowly. When I listen to a book, I like to sometimes follow along with a hard copy. The book is better than the audio in this instance.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Movie and Audio Versions Superior to the Book

Would you consider the audio edition of Lost Horizon to be better than the print version?

I realize that for many "Lost Horizon" is an iconic book in addition to being an iconic movie from the 1930's with the wonderful Ronald Colman as Conway. I have read the book at least twice over the years since first seeing the movie, and have now finished listening to the audio version. The movie version made several key changes to the book, keeping the essential theme of the Hilton's work while adding characters. In listening to the unabridged audio version I was reminded of the things I didn't like about the print version -- far too much in the way of musings by the narrator of the story (not the reader of the audio book but the literary character within the book) and the obnoxious young Englishman who is one of the four passengers on the diverted airplane.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The least interesting was as mentioned above -- Hilton's narrator who went on endlessly about Conway. The most interesting aspect of the story is the concept of a hidden country where people live long lives, past the normal age span, while perfecting their mind, character, and philosophy.

Which scene was your favorite?

Conway's two interviews with the head of the monastery where he hears its history.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A wonderful movie was made of this book in the 1930's and a so-so version a few decades later.

Any additional comments?

I thought the narrator, Michael de Morgan, did a very good job with the various voices of the characters. His Conway was excellent, with some echoes of Ronald Colman for those of us who are fans of the original movie. My least favorite characterizations were the American from the midwest (he didn't quite get the accent but he made a yoeman's effort) and his elderly female English missionary was sometimes very difficult to understand (fortunately she doesn't have much dialog).

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Mr
  • Mr
  • 05-19-13

Shangri-la ...

... Hidden in a valley deep in the Tibetan Himalayas ( Him - ahh - lee - yers ) where the sun shines - the honey flows - and the Monks and peasants live in life prolonging Nirvana - the victims of an audacious kidnap ( in the best possible taste ) discover the real reason for their abduction.
It is a story well known to those of us now in our 50's and beyond but since the demise of the Sunday afternoon feature film, 'Lost Horizon' starring Ronald Coleman is seldom shown. Here the story is read by Michael de Morgan with a respect for it's genre and age - one of the great imaginative adventures of the between wars era.
Excitement - Romance - adventure - Humour - everything is here for a thumping good listen - it deserves to be re-discovered by a new generation.

Regards Paul

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Colin
  • 04-13-13

Still worth a listen

A classic that I have never got around to reading. More than a little dated now but still worth a listen as long as you do not expect to much, ideal for late night listening or that journey in the car where you can not or should not be concentrating on anything but your driving.

Well read in a way that fits the period, put it on in the car and let it wash over you and the journey will go much quicker

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LtCol RD Rtrd
  • 09-28-18

Audio by RNIB

Special permission to record Audio version by RNIB
Normally only done for books with good reviews.
As Registered Blind I am pleased it has been Audio Recorded by RNIB
By member of Scottish War Blind Association & Sight Action Scotlland

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Virtualpt
  • 12-05-20

Narration is unintentionally hilarious

Has Michael de Morgan never heard a woman speak?

The story is wonderful, but the narration is so unintentionally funny that it twists the mood of the tale. The Chinese/Tibetan accents are funny enough, but when he does Miss Brinklow it is laugh out loud funny & very Monty Python. It is almost worth buying for the hilarious narration, but I think it would serve the story better to have a different narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • dean allen
  • 10-14-20

Great Book

I got this book because I remember the film when I was a young man,I am pleased to say it did not disappoint and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good book

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • cynthia j
  • 08-09-20

Classic

Love the book, love the film. Fantastic idea, everyone’s secret wish. Lovely to finally have it read to me.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-01-20

An intriguing story

As a child. I had a video tapped off of the television. The Lost Horizon. It was a 70s film. most beautifully done and very underrated! Johm Guilgud acted in it, Burt Bacharach composed the music and the songs were beautiful. I had the soundtrack of songs on tape too! So through out the listening of this book I have had the fondness of those memories. However, without that I'm not sure what a listener would feel or even think of it. It is a magical story in part. I had to speed the reading up as it was read too slowly for me to enjoy. 1.05x seemed to help for those who need to know. An excellently read book though. And for those of us who may think differently and broader in terms of human history I recommend :)

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • B. A. Harding
  • 06-02-20

Blue moon.. a story or a dream

This is a strange and beautiful book.. I find my self wondering if it is a dream .. or is this world of suffering and war the dream.. and the story of paradise lost...for love..
Certainly something that asks questions.. does it answer them? Full of mystery

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ashley R.
  • 05-02-20

Epic and captivating

The narration paints the era and the characters perfectly, a mesmerising Oxbridge English. The story travels to a mysterious Utopian valley in the Tibetan mountains, and let’s you wonder at the possibility of such events, if you’re so inclined to. A new favourite.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alan Nixon
  • 05-08-19

Lost and Found

I have enjoyed the overall story since seeing the 1970s movie and the fabulous 1936 original which I prefer.

I do like the overall structure, somewhat reminiscent of Frankenstein and others, where some is remembering and recalling episodes which then fit together.

At first I thought the performance a bit stuffy and old fashioned but I’m not sure when it was recorded, and then I thought it was really reflecting the feeling of 1930s very well (whenever it was recorded). The narrator conveyed the different characters really well generally but his portrayal of the High Lama was really exceptional and it seemed like he took his own relaxed time in savouring each speech (fittingly enough).

If someone has enjoyed the 1936 movie, the will get a whole additional later of pleasure from this, not least from the ‘inner voice’ of the main character

2 people found this helpful

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  • Darren
  • 11-27-18

Inspirational and Clairvoyant?

A wonderfully positive story, tinged with melancholy and prescient in its expectations for the future. While World War 2 didn't bring about a new dark ages it did see the rise of a weapon weilded by a few men that could destroy entire armies.